Remember a few years ago when we told you to go see a documentary called The King of Kong that was more engrossing and entertaining than any fiction film we'd seen out of Hollywood that year? We're putting out another all-points bulletin — this one in service of an irresistible documentary called Best Worst Movie that opens tonight at The Belcourt. From this week's Scene:
Before you hurl another sackful of spoons at a midnight show of The Room, check out Michael Paul Stephenson's engaging documentary Best Worst Movie, which examines the so-bad-it's-good cult-movie phenomenon from a sympathetic perspective — the inside. A lifetime ago, Stephenson was the child star of Troll 2, a dumbfounding 1990 horror fantasy that has neither trolls nor a prior Troll. Now that legions of hooting hipsters have embraced the movie, Stephenson follows his on-screen dad — George Hardy, now an ebullient small-town Alabama dentist — as he ponders another shot at fame.
Christopher Guest couldn't have made up Hardy's climb down the rungs of F-list celebrity, culminating in a mortifying merch-booth signing at a soul-sucking hellcon. But Hardy has an indefatigable good nature and a never-say-die weatherman's grin; his acceptance of the limits of his backhanded notoriety makes him a hero, not a goat. And no matter what the cultists say, I'm with hothead director Claudio Fragasso — Troll 2 genuinely creeps me out.
Sad news: Family emergencies have canceled tonight's scheduled appearances by Stephenson and Hardy. (Stephenson in particular told us he was bummed not to get to visit Nashville and The Belcourt.) But the nearly sold-out shows of Best Worst Movie and Troll 2 at midnight tonight and tomorrow will continue as planned. And we have a feeling that once word of mouth gets out, Best Worst Movie will stick around awhile — perhaps until The Girl Who Played with Fire, the second installment of the unstoppable Stieg Larsson trilogy, opens July 30.